I’ll never forget when my older sister came home distraught and shaken. My parents asked her what was wrong and she broke down into tears and admitted she was horrified from having just seen The Silence of the Lambs. Since then I always wanted to see it. I was 4 at the time. It wouldn’t be until years later that I saw the film. It became my favorite movie at the time and Hannibal my favorite character in fiction. He was just so classy and in charge. Since then the Hannibal Lecter franchise has seen plenty more literary and cinematic incarnations, most of them lame, with Silence arguably standing as the unmatched artistic achievement. That was the status quo of the Lecterverse until NBC released the television show Hannibal last year.
Over the last few months I watched and re-watched Hannibal. I don’t watch TV, but being a sometimes very disappointed fan of the Hannibal franchise, I gave it a shot. I remembered seeing adverts on New York City buses of a non-Hopkins mouth posing as a posh Lecter and thought that it couldn’t possibly be worth anyone’s time. Just another money grab. I consider myself a very jaded viewer of entertainment media. This is likely because I’m a filmmaker, actor, editor, writer, and composer who was raised with the media-bashing antics of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew. This means I’m not easy to please when it comes to entertainment media (I always see the strings, the plot chasms, the ham-fisted expositional dialog) and I’m far more likely to amuse myself by riffing a show or movie to death than I am to sink into the world that it’s trying to make me care about. This is not my fault. If you can’t rope in someone then your work needs work. The bar is set even higher given we’re all more-or-less filmmakers, producers, and celebrities now.… Read the rest